Monday, August 3, 2015

Hedwig and the Angry Inch - A Review

I love movies, but have always felt there’s something extra special about going to the theater. I’m in awe of people who can get up on stage and transport an audience to another place and/or time for two or three hours with no option of retakes, editing or action-packed scenes to distract the audience from humdrum performances.  On stage, being good-looking is not enough, there has to be talent too, whether in acting, singing or dancing or, in the case of plays like Hedwig and the Angry Inch, all three.

The play had already been on Broadway for over a year but I only heard about it when I received a flyer in the mail announcing that Taye Diggs was taking over the lead role. The premise of the play, a rock musical about a transsexual singer from East Berlin, didn’t exactly make me want to rush to see it, but the chance to see an actor that I liked perform on stage (and, I have to say, at very reasonable prices for Broadway) was impetus enough.

From the first blast of music to the last (and at times the music is incredibly loud) the show is fantastic, managing to be laugh-out-loud funny, poignant and thought-provoking, often all at the same time, as we learn the life story of Hansel/Hedwig and her search for the one person she believes will make her whole.

Taye Diggs’ performance is riveting, as is his appearance. He struts about the stage in gold, high-heeled boots and mini-skirts, his mannerisms so finely tuned that you forget that he is anyone but Hedwig. Well-deserving of the standing ovation at the end.

Add in fabulous music and spectacular staging and it all adds up to one of the most enjoyable theater-going experiences around. Rude and raunchy, it is meant only for a mature audience (no children allowed!) and if you’re easily offended it’s probably not the play for you either – otherwise, if you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it. 


  1. I saw the movie a while ago and enjoyed it. It's hard to imagine Taye Diggs in the lead...but I'm sure he did a fabulous job. And you're right--it's definitely for mature audiences :-D

  2. Funnily enough, I now find it hard to imagine Neil Patrick Harris in the role - he was the first to play the part of Hedwig in the current Broadway run (Taye Diggs is the fifth) and got tremendous reviews. I guess it is their ability to 'own' the part so that audiences forget they are acting that makes them such good actors.